Daria Nepriakhina via unsplash

Worlds away

By Lottie Fountain

Can friendship survive distance?

My best friend and I are currently living the reality that we have both dreaded for the last twelve months: studying abroad. After two years of being separated by no more than a wall, we have both worried how we would maintain the incredible friendship that has thus far only thrived in the extremely close conditions of decrepit Murano halls and a tiny flat in Woodlands. And even though I walk around with a hole in my heart without Leila in my everyday life, I am quite proud to say that we have very much made it work. 

My first piece of advice would definitely be that consistency isn’t key. Living a thousand miles apart in quite disparate cultures with incompatible timetables and lifestyles does mean that you can’t expect a call everyday. This doesn’t stop us from giving and receiving constant updates. 

Moving us onto my second piece of advice: use voice notes. They’re a touch more personal than texts and, better yet, you can give each other a dizzying number of updates without actually having to be free at the same time. Sort of the long-distance-best-friend version of running into her room to give her some worthless gossip that we will, nonetheless, discuss for hours.

That said, Leila and I have without a doubt broken records for the length of our phone calls. When we do both happen to have a free night, we can call for hours and hours. The five-and-a-half hour phone call was an absolute belter. The way I see it, the fun and ease of those calls isn’t just on account of our friendship, but the fact that through little recorded updates, we can skip the small talk. It is as if we never left each other.

My last piece of advice can be altered to adapt to the activities of any platonic lovebirds, remedying the worst thing we’ve experienced living apart for the first time: no longer being able to share those things that you’re used to doing together. For me and Leila, that was cooking. So, we made a shared note with photos and recipes of the best things we’ve cooked and eaten in Salamanca and Amsterdam to enjoy together when we are finally reunited in Glasgow. 

Although I quite literally effervesce with excitement at the thought of living with Leila again, I really value the lessons this year apart has taught us. Time apart has only made me more confident that we will know and love each other forever.


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